Raise our fuel import quota to ease crisis, Uganda tells Kenya

Uganda’s petroleum products are transported through Kenya. However, Kenya allocates different quotas that must be imported through its territory by different countries in accordance to existing demand in such countries. PHOTO | Edgar R Batte 

What you need to know:

Fuel prices have risen by almost 36 percent in due to a strike by truck drivers and supply disruptions

Government has written to Kenya seeking its intervention to increase monthly petroleum import quotas allocated Uganda in a bid to ease shortages that have seen fuel price increase by almost 40 per cent in just three months.

In an April 11 letter Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Pauline Irene Batebe asked her counterpart in Kenya - Energy Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau - to increase fixed allocation of 110,660 cubic metres of petrol and 110,400 cubic metres of diesel transported through Kenya to satisfy fresh demand, partly driven by reopening of the economy. 

Uganda, also wants a guarantee of a monthly provision of 12,000 cubic metres of aviation fuel. However, Ms Batebe yesterday told Daily Monitor Kenya was yet to reply to Uganda’s request.

Ms Batebe had written following a meeting with oil marketers operating in Uganda, who had linked the fuel supply crisis facing Uganda to inadequate allocations from Kenya.

“During the time we experienced Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 and beginning of 2021, there was a reduction in demand for petroleum products and when businesses returned to normal in the fourth quarter of 2021, Ugandan oil marketing companies have continued experiencing inadequate ullage which has caused gaps in fulfilling demand requirements and therefore resulted in persistent supply problems in Uganda,” Ms Batebe wrote.

Dr Patricia Litho, the Ministry of Energy communications director told Daily Monitor the letter is meant to mitigate disruptions in supply, which has caused disruptions at pump prices.

Uganda also wants its oil marketing firms to continue being supplied under the open tender system through their sister companies in Kenya as well as Kenya allowing oil marketers to load from Nairobi and other terminals in view of the low capacity in western Kenya.

In March, Uganda National Bureau of Statistics said fuel had increased by about 36 percent since December due in part to a crisis in December and January resulting from a strike by truck drivers and a disruption in supply.

Government had also blamed the runaway fuel prices on the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

However, some experts have previously argued that the conflict was too distant to cause such an instant impact on local pump prices.  

Kenya, is itself fighting off a fuel crisis, which its government blames on hoarding by oil marketing firms.

However, it has since eased with the country’s Ministry of Petroleum indicating that Kenya had 82.17 million litres of diesel and a further 52.9 million litres of petrol at the Kenya Pipeline Company depots as of Monday.